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Kinzinger says GOP heading for internal showdown

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021

* NY Times

As President Donald Trump prepares to leave office with his party in disarray, Republican leaders including Sen. Mitch McConnell are maneuvering to thwart his grip on the GOP in future elections, while forces aligned with Trump are looking to punish Republican lawmakers and governors who have broken with him. […]

Republicans on both sides of the conflict are acknowledging openly that they are headed for a showdown.

“Hell yes, we are,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

Kinzinger was equally blunt when asked how he and other anti-Trump Republicans could dilute the president’s clout in primaries.

“We beat him,” he said.

* Meanwhile, in Illinois, here’s Democratic US Rep. Sean Casten…

ince the results of the elections in November were certified, multiple members of the Illinois Republican Party have continued to question the outcomes without valid justification. Local Republican officials have been demanding a full recount of votes in DuPage County, mobilizing rallies and using incendiary rhetoric that directly echoes language used by the Proud Boys and other domestic terror groups who attacked the United States Capitol last week.

In one of several mass communications calling for a recount on the basis of factually inaccurate claims, the DuPage County Republican Party Chairman falsely claimed the DuPage County Clerk is breaking the law and that she needs to be held “accountable.” While these individuals are now attempting to distance themselves from the violence on January 6th, we cannot ignore their contributions to the disinformation campaign that led to it. The language being used by those seeking to overturn a free and fair election in DuPage County is virtually identical to the language being used by those groups who are planning those attacks—from the “stop the steal” battle cry that’s since been removed from Facebook for its threat to public safety to suggesting that supporters “fight” election results extrajudicially. Any political party who fails to curtail this language must, if only out of an abundance of caution, be assumed to be supporting these insurrectionists.

Words matter, and the events of the last week have made it abundantly clear what these particular words can incite. U.S. intelligence agencies have informed us that there are multiple terror groups seeking to mobilize attacks on the U.S. Government and all fifty state capitals in or around January 20th; Our entire national security, intelligence and civil protection apparatus, including federal, state, and local agencies are focused on identifying and stopping these actors.

To that end, I call on the leadership of the Illinois Republican party, and upon public officials at all levels of state and local government, to immediately and publicly disavow and condemn these actions, affirm the certified results of the November election, and use their position of leadership to make it abundantly clear that while the terrorists who attacked the Capitol last week may have had a political agenda, they do not have the support of the party of Lincoln.

I asked for a comment from the ILGOP last week and heard nothing back. The state Republican Party regularly demands reporters ask questions of Gov. Pritzker, so turnabout, etc.

* This may be wishful thinking

Trump will no longer be a handicap to Republicans in the Chicago suburbs and in places like Champaign County, where he could manage no more than 37 percent of the vote and where the once-dominant GOP lost six countywide offices since Trump became president. Democrats also have gained a pair of seats in both the Illinois House and Senate since 2016.

Trump’s loss, combined with the demise of Michael J. Madigan, the longtime Speaker of the House who has bedeviled Republicans in the Legislature for 50 years, makes January 2021 one of the best months for the Illinois GOP in years.

The political pendulum may finally be moving in favor of Republicans in the Land of Lincoln.

The worst of it may be over for the party for now, but the suburbs have been trending more Democratic since the 1990s just as Downstate has been trending more Republican. Neither trend is likely to stop.

* Greg Hinz

What I’m saying is that Illinois Republicans have opportunity, even now. Democrats are quite capable of soiling their own nest. But to reach millions of voters in the middle, the GOP somehow has to cleanse a brand that now is horridly tarnished. Please, give me real choice on Election Day.

Easier said than done. Party leaders can only do so much. If the GOP base doesn’t settle down, those primaries are gonna be something to behold.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chuck - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    The GOP should embrace the Maine model of binding primaries and top 4 automatic runoff voting. Their candidates would be able to appeal to the broader public without having to kowtow to the Deep Lost on the right.

  2. - Lake County Mom - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    Ten years ago, nearly every member of the Illinois legislature had a tea bag hanging from their desk microphone.

    I don’t see any evidence that the ILGOP has gotten any smarter in the past decade.

  3. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    Agree, the GOP base may not go along with a moderate party. Grabbing the popcorn.

  4. - Lake County Mom - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:00 pm:


    *Every Republican member…

  5. - Tear One - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    GOP’s going to go through some things.

  6. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:03 pm:

    Republicans are like spiders…they’re fine as long as there’s plenty of food to go around…but when food is scarce…they eat each other alive.


  7. - 17% Solution - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:06 pm:

    == But to reach millions of voters in the middle, the GOP somehow has to cleanse a brand that now is horridly tarnished.==

    Time tarnishes silver, nonmetal things time has a way of cleansing .
    I predict in a few years people will deny ever voting for him.

  8. - 17% Solution - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    Trump I mean, not Kinzinger or Casten

  9. - ChuckIL - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    I became a Republican for small government and fiscal responsibility. Neither of those things materialized, but I stayed…until every issue became a holy war. I prefer my politics to be boring.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:18 pm:

    To the post,

    Reading Kinzinger’s words, and looking at Kinzinger’s actions since election nite, January 6th… today…

    My own journey in Illinois Republican politics found a crossroads, first with Rauner and the forced destruction of this state for an agenda, and now, January 19th, and coming to terms with a sitting President, one who claimed the Republican Party as his, and spoke to outright insurrection of our government. Since July 2013, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to see the ILGOP as a party wanting to be a party looking to govern responsibly, but a party even today that makes the destruction of Illinois norms seem so much less “damaging” then what others like Mary Miller wanted, the overthrowing of an election.

    It’s has “cost” me, being ridiculed as not a R_N_, which I can live with, but first with Rauner owning the brand to hurt so many that once easily identified as a Republican, to this president, hours away from his term ending, who wanted the Republican Party to tear down the Republic.

    It’s come to that the term “Democrat” to some is derogatory. It’s an insult. It’s something that “Republicans” see as “bad” people.

    Even today in comments, the derogatory “Democrat” was thrown out there to slight.

    I don’t know what I will do but I know there are some like me, never Rauner, never Trump, being dismissed by my former party folks, and what Kinzinger is saying, and I hear him, there’s a battle for the idea of TWO strong parties that can fight and disagree, but do NOT see others as the enemy.

    The enemy has been since 2013 in Illinois this idea to force change to agendas the majority disagrees, and the result has been unnecessary pain, and a purging in the Republican Party that would and have agreed 80% of the time, but that 20% since 2013 has been a strong disagreement that being a regional, white, and angry party is the only acceptable Republican Party for the extremist, those who the current president courted, then led to believe an insurrection is patriotic.

    Mr. Kinzinger. I am paying attention. Will you keep my attention, that will be up to you.

    I have no idea what it means for others, but I know there’s a reckoning coming, and when the dust settles, will the ILGOP be worse than the bad as it sits, or will the purge this time be those who hung on to the Rauner then Trump thinking, so much so they lost sight of the bigger goals, the best goals, the governing goals in our Republic, and our great state. I dunno, but I’m paying attention to what’s next.

  11. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    I have been wishing that the Republican Party,ever since Alan Keyes, would embrace the most wacko right wing version and crash and burn then shed ourselves from them and return to normal. Maybe this is out chance. I am proud that be considered a Rhino just as I was once proud to be considered a Republican. Carpe diem

  12. - Shemp - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    US Rep. Sean Casten saying “words matter” is going to be the funniest thing I read all day.

  13. - low level - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    The very sensible and down to earth DuPage GOP no longer exists I guess.

    == The political pendulum may finally be moving in favor of Republicans in the Land of Lincoln.==. Um, no. Lol

  14. - Shemp - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    To Chuck’s point, the whole country needs ranked choice voting.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    Let me be quite clear in my words, shorthand as they are;

    ===being dismissed by my former party folks===

    If the ILGOP sees Mary Miller and her hatred, and seemingly racist thoughts as “leadership going forward” in the ILGOP, that’s not leaders of the “former party” I once knew, and those same folks now embracing Mary Miller makes this ILGOP no where near what the ILGOP was pre-2013.

    It’s up to Kinzinger, it seems, to allow this battle for a party to pick sides, and I know I’m NOT with the Mary Miller faction

  16. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    “Your votes are illegal and invalid” might not be the most effective message for a DuPage GOP trying to win back the many voters who’ve fled them of late.

    [sips tea]

    But that’s none of my business.

    – MrJM

  17. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    God Bless Adam Kinzinger. But there is a big problem with the logic. If the party isn’t being led by a bunch of wingnuts, the people Trump brought into the party are gone. The GOP won elections with the wingnuts, maybe not in Illinois, but nationwide. It seems like now more than ever, all politics is national. So a vibrant Republican party in the tradition of Thompson, Edgar, Topinka, Didrickson is just not something possible in this age. And that is bad for democracy. It is bad for our state and our nation.

  18. - John Lopez - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    Now some know why I cast a nonpartisan ballot last year.

  19. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    So they think the only reason Dems won in suburbs was Trump? Now all will go back to 1960?

  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===Now all will go back to 1960?===

    Like I said. Wishful thinking.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:06 pm:

    === Now some know why I cast a nonpartisan ballot last year.===

    … and yet you support Jim Oberweis. Hmm.

    ===Now all will go back to 1960?===

    The reality of the losses in districts with Krishnamoorthi, Schneider, Casten, Underwood, and Foster are more about 21st century political realities not mirroring 1968 and beyond “silent majority” wants.

  22. - John Lopez - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:09 pm:

    OW: You trying to tell us you supported Lauren Underwood?

  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:13 pm:

    === You trying to tell us you supported Lauren Underwood?===

    Over Jim Oberweis?

    Jim Oberweis and his racist thinking and his now belief he didn’t lose the election… and his mirroring of Trump with a “Make Illinois Great Again” idea…

    Jim Oberweis is a major reason not only the state party and the national party is littered with conspiracy theorists and racist thinking.

    Jim Oberweis out of governing is good for Illinois.

    Luckily I didn’t have to vote in that contest.

    I’m glad that district got it right. One Mary Miller is enough for Illinois.

  24. - LakeCo - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    =To that end, I call on the leadership of the Illinois Republican party, and upon public officials at all levels of state and local government, to immediately and publicly disavow and condemn these actions, affirm the certified results of the November election=

    God yes, this. I don’t want to hear “unity” and “healing” coming out of the mouths of any Republicans who are still perpetuating the Big Lie.

  25. - Jocko - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    ==I became a Republican for small government and fiscal responsibility.==

    Don’t forget law & order.

  26. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    Downstate is not a monolith.

    Traditionally Dem Downstate counties where white Dem support traditionally came from blue collar union workers like Macon County and the Metro East have gotten redder but some traditionally Republican Downstate counties (Champaign and McLean have gotten bluer as more white college-educated voters have rejected the GOP).

    McLean County voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and the local GOP is fractured about it here too where the Republican McLean County Board chairman wants to follow Kinzinger but the local party chair is still on the Trump train, even though in the last 4 years Dems flipped multiple county board seats and the Normal township board.

  27. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    I hope the National Republican Party helps with a strong vote to convict Trump. The lie must be disavowed.

    Then there will be position by position competition. In Illinois that may take years.

  28. - CubsFan16 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    After Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss, the GOP wrote up a fairly extensive “autopsy report” detailing why the party failed and needed to change. The country was/is evolving and the party needs to do the same. Rep. Kinzinger is correct that Trumpism needs to be fought, but I’ve seen some Republicans suggest that the correct path forward is something I like to call “nostalgism”. Essentially, nostalgism states that the GOP were to just return to how it was before Trump, they will succeed. Wrong, the GOP needs to become something it has never been. It needs to modernize not just in terms of who they reach out to demographically but actually being a party of governance and sound policy proposals to solve problems. I think you have instances of this at a state level with Governors like Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker. But there needs to be a national effort revolving around POLICY and IDEAS. No more of the “city people bad”. While I’m proud of Rep. Kinzinger’s efforts to fight Trumpism over the last few months, I hope that he will elaborate more on his phrase “Restore Our GOP”. What specifically is the path forward?

  29. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    Uniting and strengthening a party via reconciliation while reminding and cementing the values that define the party and separate it from the other party, is vastly different than a purge. I believe that the impeachment vote has gained Kinzinger national name recognition and time on talk shows, but also I believe that action immediately makes him the wrong vehicle to be able to unite the R. party in Illinois.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:01 pm:

    ===I believe that the impeachment vote has gained Kinzinger national name recognition and time on talk shows, but also I believe that action immediately makes him the wrong vehicle to be able to unite the R. party in Illinois.===

    I dunno how being wholly against the leader of a insurrection is bad for a party unless that party is still in favor of having insurrectionists as members.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    ===vastly different than a purge===

    You’d hope neither party looks at purging insurrectionists as bad…

    You’d hope.

  32. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    Mike Bost was one of the GOP who publically signed on to Trump’s fantasy of over-turning the election.

    Bost will win by 15 points or more in 2022.

    You ain’t winning a GOP primary south of I-64 w/o going full on right wing.

  33. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    Adam Kinziner score from NARAL 0%. Women deserve agency. He does not agree. Zero.

  34. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:20 pm:

    Pate Philip would have fit in just fine with today’s Republican party, and boy was he influential in yesterday’s.

    I’m taking a wait and see approach on whether there’s as much of an internal crisis in the GOP as I hope their is (not for partisan reasons but because Trumpism is dangerous). Let’s see how much hold Trump has on the party a year from now. Meanwhile, watch the GOP sit back, make the same tired criticisms and obstructionist attacks they made during the Obama administration, and run in the midterms as the “anti-Biden/Democrats” more than as a party with ideas of their own. Could work.

  35. - JB13 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:24 pm:

    The Illinois Republican Party will need to find a way to synthesize downstate and the suburbs, and the factions must find ways to compromise, to achieve that which is achievable. If, for instance, the Darren Bailey’s insist on intellectual purity, they will find themselves forever the disloyal opposition party in a state becoming more like California (weather, excluded) by the day.

    And if Illinois Republicans insist on supporting Darren Bailey alone, one can only conclude they don’t really mind that status in the slightest.

  36. - Blake - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    low level, Illinois was one of only 7 states Trump did better in 2020 than in 2016. It was also only 1 vote in 17 away from the national average. Biden won 10 of every 17 votes in Illinois & 9 in 17 nationally.

  37. - Frumpy White Guy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 3:52 pm:

    The future of the Republican Party will be greatly impacted which side wins. But let’s not loose sight of what’s really important, Representative Dan Didech wants his vaccine now.

  38. - Friends of Jane Byrne - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:03 pm:

    OW thinks the future of the GOP is voting like Lauren Underwood (the registered nurse). I might mistake someone like that as a member of the Democratic party in the state of Illinois.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    === OW thinks… ===

    … supporting a racist thinking and conspiracy theorists’ elections are bad for our country and state, no matter the party, and Oberweis is bad on both counts for Illinois.

    Keep up, please.

    === I might mistake someone like that as a member of the Democratic party===

    As of January 6th, the Trump insurrectionists spoke for one man, not necessarily one party.

    The adults are talking, making it about me won’t get you to leave the kid table.

  40. - Marie Duke - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    -making it about me-

    When you are an official commentator of a “progressive” website it does become about you. Be proud.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:29 pm:

    - Marie Duke -

    It appears you want the “ILGOP” to be a regional, old, angry, white party that supports, not only insurrectionists in it’s ranks but the idea that elections are not free and fair in this country.

    Fighting to bring TWO parties back to Illinois by purging the bad that ruined the party I had identified with, easily, before Rauner, before Trump, that doesn’t make me a progressive, “Democrat”, R_N_, or “liberal”, but it does put me in opposition of the bad Kinzinger is seemingly fighting here too.

    If I’m choosing Kinzinger over you… too bad.

  42. - Now What? - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:32 pm:

    GOP became followers, not leaders, a long time ago.They have had no message with which to grow their party, and are keenly aware of that, thus they follow trends they believe they can manage. January 6th spoke to how out of touch they are and will only continue to grow in irrelevance. Whigs.

  43. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:50 pm:

    ==of a “progressive” website==

    If you don’t like it then go somewhere else. The only people who say such things are those who want to be fed the talking points they want to hear.

  44. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Jan 19, 21 @ 4:58 pm:

    =It was also only 1 vote in 17 away from the national average. Biden won 10 of every 17 votes in Illinois & 9 in 17 nationally.=

    That’s a cute way to minimize what was a huge popular vote margin. The difference between 9 of 17 and 10 of 17 is 5.88%. For an election, that’s huge

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* 1,442 new confirmed and probable cases; 33 additional deaths; 1,166 hospitalized; 263 in ICU; 2.2 percent average case positivity rate; 2.8 percent average test positivity rate; 83,115 average daily doses
* CDC report: Masks decrease spread, but on-premises restaurant dining increases it
* Unemployment applications rose nationally last week, fell slightly in Illinois
* Kass (no, not that Kass, the smart one) argues against austerity
* Democrats, business leaders argue for phased approach to full reopening, and they want it to start soon
* Chicago Sun-Times: “Illinois Can’t Sit Back And Wait For The Federal Government To Do The Job.” CEJA Can’t Wait.
* Durbin agreed to back Harris before flipping to Kelly
* Appellate ruling: Transportation lock box amendment doesn't apply to home rule units
* ALPLM hires first person of color as executive director
* Support The Illinois Healthy Youth Act – SB266
* Open thread
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